It is understandable that in the beginning stages of a divorce you may be experiencing feelings of confusion, anger, loss or sadness. It is also normal to feel unprepared and unsure of where to start.
Gone are the days where divorce actions must be initiated by filing a Complaint for Divorce at your local Circuit Court. There are many alternative options that promote settlement prior to filing the case and promote the opportunity for healing.
A growing number of couples and professionals (lawyers, financial advisors, and mental health professionals) are utilizing the Collaborative Divorce Process, which is a much more humane and respectful option for the divorce transition. At the outset, the Process is intentionally geared toward settlement. Here are some characteristics of the Collaborative Process:
The couples pledge not to go to Court;
An open, honest, and confidential exchange of information between the couple;
Helps maintain important relationships;
Approaches settlement discussions based on interests and concerns rather than positions;
Cost efficient process for gathering and exchanging financial information, avoiding timely and expensive, traditional discovery methods;
Encourages mutual respect;
The couple maintains control of the process;
Forward-thinking journey for the family;
A Team atmosphere committed to the whole family; and
The Team is not focused on a specific outcome, but rather, on how they can help the family.
It is important to note that Collaborative does not mean conflict-free. However, the Team utilizes respectful methods and strategies to resolve and diminish conflict in a Team atmosphere, rather than exacerbating conflict through the adversarial nature of divorce proceedings through the court system.
Not all family law attorneys are Collaboratively trained, and therefore, this option might not be discussed at an initial consultation. It is important to meet with an attorney who has completed the Basic Collaborative Training and regularly handles Collaborative cases. Jessica has dedicated her practice to problem solving methods that keep families out of court, put children first, and promote healing. To learn more about the Collaborative Process and other divorce options, please do not hesitate to reach out at (734) 531-8554 or firstname.lastname@example.org.